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Omar Harfouch in Italian parliament: 'I fight for my daughter and the children of Lebanon, the Lebanese Republic needs liberal reforms




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The Chamber of Deputies has held a conference of Lebanese politician Omar Harfouch, hosted by Hon. Roberto Bagnasco and organized by the Milton Friedman Institute, on the situation in Lebanon and the need for reform of the country's political and constitutional system.

"We, as the Friedman Institute, particularly wanted to promote this conference in order to highlight what is happening in a country very close to us, especially since we share the same sea and many issues that come from the Middle East and pass through Lebanon, and then come to Italy, as we have also seen recently with respect to immigration. At last a political figure is proposing a liberal state, so much so that he wants to reform it institutionally in a radical way" – said the conference’s moderator and Executive Director of the Milton Friedman Institute Alessandro Bertoldi.

"Lebanon needs a non-denominational elective system that guarantees greater representativeness and freedom for Lebanese citizens. We need to combat the high rate of corruption that affects the country and guarantee the fundamental rights of Lebanese men and women, including the right to inheritance for all, religious freedom, and child custody for women. I also intend to take an example from the Italian legal system, because I consider it to be among the most effective at the European level in terms of how the fight against organized crime is thought out. Unfortunately, the corruption rate in Lebanon is 90 percent compared to a very low percentage in Italy. The arrival of immigrants in Lebanon particularly from Syria, which consequently causes immigration problems in Europe and therefore in Italy in particular, is a point at the center of my program.

The solution is to adopt a new political system to give future generations hope for the possibility of staying in Lebanon. Today, the absence of an effective president, prime minister and government does not guarantee security, stability and future for the country. Different candidates do hide and do not want their intentions to be known, as they may be subject to threats, as is the case with me. Those who try to bring change to Lebanon are subjected to a smear campaign and, when that is not enough, they are subjected to attacks, as was in my case together with my wife and daughter. But intimidation does not stop me because I fight for my daughter and for the new generation of Lebanon, for all those who want a free country. 

I am here to raise the awareness of the Italian political class about the situation in Lebanon and to bring the issue to the attention of Italian and European institutions. Italy has a right to have its say on Lebanon because it has done a lot to keep the peace, even sacrificing its men in uniform." – stated Omar Harfouch, leader of the "Third Lebanese Republic".

"Our party, Forza Italia, has always been strongly committed to the protection of liberal values in the world. It is therefore natural to stand up to support Lebanon in its battle for freedom. The lack of rights in the country is an issue that we cannot ignore and is a serious problem that requires the utmost attention from European public opinion. Just last week, in the House Defense Committee I spoke as rapporteur, for FI, on the Ratification, for another 5 years, of the renewal of the Defense Cooperation Agreement, between the Government of the Republic of Italy and the Government of Lebanon.

We also cannot forget that this country is a central point of reference in the Mediterranean. That is why we are concerned about the impact of the Lebanese situation on unchecked immigration. Our attention to Lebanon is dictated by our desire to facilitate its transition to a third, more liberal republic that overcomes the confessional pattern, as advocated by our Friend Harfouch." – said Hon. Roberto Bagnasco.


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